PARTY QUEEN / Feb 07, 2023


As we near prom night, lots of ladies are asking for prom dress ideas—from different silhouettes and colors to trends and styles. Today, we're focusing on ‘80s prom dress ideas. The ‘80s was arguably the boldest decade in modern fashion. Think big, bright, loud, and edgy—down to one's hair and makeup. But we're sure most of you aren't envisioning side ponytails and spandex leotards. So what aspects of ‘80s fashion can we bring to today's fashion world—and your prom dress? Let’s take a look!  

💿 Five ‘80s Prom Dress Ideas to Rock This Year 📀

Whether you're off to an ‘80s-theme prom or simply love the retro look, here are five ‘80s prom dress ideas with a modern twist.  

1. Jewel-tone dress with off-the-shoulder sleeves

If you look up ‘80s prom dresses, you'll find a lot of satin, jewel tones, and off-the-shoulder sleeves. Together, these offer a perfect ‘80s prom dress idea. Why? Because all of these elements can be super modern too. By choosing a contemporary silhouette (like mermaid) and simplifying the sleeves (no ruffles or balloons here!), you can rock a look that's ‘80s-inspired yet super trendy. Over the last few years, simple makeup and hairstyles have controlled the fashion world. We recommend this approach for your prom look as well. A colorful dress like this can totally stand on its own. (Unless you're attending an ‘80s theme party—then embrace the bold hair and makeup!)  
emerald green silk prom dress
Get the look: style GL3060 | Sweetheart Satin Mermaid Dress w/ Pleated Waist and Slit

2. Bright-colored metallic lamé dress

Of course, ‘80s fashion was all about bright and neon colors. While a color like neon yellow may feel hard to pull off, you can still rock this ‘80s prom dress idea. Instead, try something like hot pink or fuschia! These colors are very in! Pairing hot pink with a fabric like metallic lamé is a great way to bring this 80s prom dress idea to life even further. In the ‘80s, shiny and shimmery fabrics were go-tos. It's an easy way to dial up any outfit. And for prom, that's exactly what you want to do! To modernize this look, we recommend a dress with a slinky silhouette, like a mermaid prom dress. With a ruched waistline, you'll draw attention to all the right places─in other words, your hourglass shape!  
fuchsia metallic prom dress
Get the look: style GL2943 | Ruched Metallic Lame V-Neck Mermaid Long Dress w/ Lace Up Back

3. Mermaid dress with ruffles

What's an ‘80s prom dress idea without ruffles?! Ruffles are one of the defining features of classic ‘80s looks—and they're still alive in today's fashion! We'll show you two looks for this ‘80s prom dress idea: a more traditional one and a more modern take. This first example may look like a dress straight out of Moulin Rouge. But if you research vintage ‘80s prom dresses, you'll find many that look similar to this! Its dramatic ruffles at the skirt are perfect for ladies who want to capture a true ‘80s vibe. Complete the look with bright makeup and a voluptuous hairdo.  
silver strapless sweetheart neckline ruffled skirt long dress
Get the look: style GL1026 | Strapless Sweetheart Organza Long Ruffle Dress with Jeweled Bodice
  If you love this ‘80s prom dress idea but prefer a subdued version, this outfit is totally up your alley: a mesh mermaid dress with a detachable ruffle skirt layer. It offers the volume that's classic of the 80s—but with a modern flair. It'll look beautiful in photos looking over your shoulder!  
champagne mesh prom dress
Get the look: style GL3004 | Glitter Embellished Mesh Mermaid Dress w/ Jewel Embellishment and Detached Layer

4. Mesh dress with puff sleeves and bustier top

This fourth ‘80s prom dress idea also offers a modern twist. Puff sleeves and bustier tops were both staples in any woman's wardrobe during this decade. With this look, you can have both. Puff sleeves are making a huge comeback right now. But they're not as over the top as the’ 80s original. This year, it brings a more whimsical vibe to prom dresses. We also love that many come with detachable sleeves. You can rock them for photos and then take them off when you hit the dance floor. Bustier and corset tops are also incredibly trendy. If you're looking for a sexy and playful look, this is a trend you have to jump on.  
dusty rose lace prom dress
Get the look: style GL3126 | Strapless Sheer Bodice Mesh A-Line Dress w/ Detachable Short Mesh Sleeves

5. Velvet and sequin dress with puff shoulders

Shoulder pads: the ‘80s prom dress you didn't know you needed! Shoulder pads or puff shoulders is an ‘80s trend with a bad rap. But it's redeemed itself in today's fashion world: it's chic and edgy all at once. And this prom dress idea is proof! Plus, puff shoulders accentuate a woman's hourglass shape and curves. And we'll never say no to that! If bright colors aren't your thing, explore bold fabrics. This black prom dress is made of velvet and sequins, which were both popular in the ‘80s. Rock this decade the way you want to!  
black velvet prom dress
Get the look: style GL3122 | Puff Shoulder 3/4 Sleeves Feather Velvet Mermaid Dress

Looking for More Prom Dress Ideas?

Whether you're off to a themed event or you want to dress to impress, here are more prom dress ideas for you to check out:  

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